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When thinking dog breed for a family pet, rarely does the term bulldog come to mind. However, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a cross breed of a bull dog and a local terrier from Staffordshire makes for an excellent family pet. This breed, recognized by the AKC in 1975, are noted for their great speed and strength. They have remarkable confidence and are noted for their bravery. A similar dog was used in early times for bull baiting, now illegal since 1835 in England. Some laborers from Staffordshire preserved the Staffy and classified the dogs differences from the English Bull Terrier. This breed of canine has been recognized by The Kennel Club of England since 1935. Staffies can be seen competing in the Crufts dog shows annually.

The Staffy is a canine that is small to medium in size. They have a stocky, muscular build that is well defined. This dog has a large face for its size and pronounced muscles in the cheeks, giving them the bull dog look. Most commonly, these dogs will be black and/or blue with white or red in color. Their eyes usually vary in dark tones that can resemble the coat color. Their ears are usually half pricked. Some things that ACK finds as flaws and undesirable is a tan or black and liver colored coat, ears that are fully pricked or too floppy and a pink nose. These can even be grounds for AKC disqualifications. However, that doesn’t mean that these little defects in appearance will make a dog less of a pet by any means. If you are only looking for a pet, this should not be a concern. This should only be a concern for those who plan to show the dog or breed the dog.

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The Staffordshire Bull Terrier are generally low maintenance. Their coat is short and slick and only needs minium brushing about once or twice a week to help with shedding. They have little health problems in comparison to many other breeds of dog. There are a few hereditary problems to be aware of, which most can be screen for by DHA testing and/or testing of the parents. This conditions include: metabolic disorders, cataracts and a congenital problem. Their life span is averaged at 12-14 years and they can weigh between 24 to 40 pounds and from 13 to 16 inches in height. The females are usually smaller than the males, but not by much.

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The Staffy makes an excellent companion and family pet. They are very playful and athletic, with a great amount of energy. These little guys are very affectionate and love to be around people. The downfall to the Staffy, is that in general they do not get along well with other animals. However, if raised as a puppy, this can be an obstacle that is overcome by introducing them early to other pets. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is not a dog for people who live in tight spaces with limited time outdoors. These dogs require to run and play, and this is best done outdoors at least once a day. Staffy can be very obedient with training, but they can be stubborn at times, especially during training. They need gentle, yet firm discipline to become an obedient dog. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier can be well trained to compete in dog shows, and they do well with the agility rings performances. This dog is great for people who don't enjoy dogs that bark a lot. The Staffy is usually a fairly quiet dog unless performing some type of task. The staffie can be an amusing dog with there high level of energy, but they are also considered gentle at the same time.

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The best way to decide if a Staffordshire Bull Terrier is the dog for your family, is to visit a breeder and get a feel for the breed. I advise extremely against buying a dog from a pet store for more than one reason. Many puppies at pet shops are from puppy mills. These dogs are usually mistreated and have health problems from abuse. By purchasing animals from unknown sources, it is possible to be funding one of this breeding farms. Schedule an appointment with a breeder and get a feel of how all the animals are being treated. Don’t met them out in the middle of no where to conduct business. If they insist, this is a sure sign that they don’t want you to see the conditions that the dog comes from. Many which are inbreeds or full of disease. You also need to observe the parents of the puppy to see their temperament, and the puppies as well. Make sure you watch them eat. The way this is conducted can give you some indication of it’s temperament. You will also want to inspect the dogs kennels. Big dogs should have individual kennels that are good in size, plus be allowed out for exercise daily. If you see several dogs in small cages or kennels, this is a bad sign. Be sure to ask if the parents have been screen for hereditary conditions. It’s best to buy a Staffordshire has parents over two years old with a clean bill of health. Certain health conditions can be ruled out by just this. You just can’t get this important type of information from a pet shop, and what you do get, may not be so.

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The Staffordshire makes does make an excellent companion for people who have high levels of energy and spunk. However, these are not dogs for busy people who live in tiny spaces or people with low levels of engergy. If they are left alone on a regular basis, they can be come depressed and destructive. The Staffy is great for people with kids that like to play. These dogs have such a loving nature, it was not unusual for an injured one to ride home in a carriage with a small baby in the bull baiting days. In fact, these dogs are so good in nature for children, there nick name is the "Nanny Dog". There other nicknames include: Staffie, Stafford, Staff and Staffy.